Army of the Month – A Hairy Horde

I realised I was running out of time for the inaugural Army of the Month posting, which I said would be before the end of Janaury. So here goes..

I’ve chosen my 15mm Goths for my first AotM. This army is a good few years old, and although not big by many wargamers’ standards, it’s not bad for me. It’s been added to over time and has crept up from a single DBA-sized force initially, to its current strength of about 90 mounted and 160 foot figures. The vast majority are from Lancashire Games which, although they can be a bit flimsy at the ankles and with some of the weapons, for me they capture the look of the period very well (and they were cheap to buy!) There are a few Old Glory command and cavalry figures in there too.

The army is based around the Ostrogoths of the late 4th century onwards, containing as it does just 3 basic troop types; heavy cavalry, close order foot, and light archers. This means it can represent, or contribute units to, almost any dark age army which has these types, such as Gepids, Vandals and so on. The cavalry is nicely generic and the infantry can either represent fiery warband or poorer clumped spear-armed tribal levies. The archers are a mix of larger unformed ‘units’ and skirmishers, allowing for massed bows, a loose swarm, or a combination of both.

The army is based for the in-house rules I use (By Force of Arms), written by a wargaming buddy. These use a gridded board and a system where unit strength, morale and cohesion is defined visually by the number of bases remaining (plus any disorder markers added). Most units (skirmishers and light horse excepted) have 2 main bases which remain until the unit is destroyed or routs, and a number of smaller single or 2-figure bases to be removed as losses mount up, and otherwise add a bit of visual bulk to the unit. That’s a brief explanation of why the army looks as it does for those who are interested.

I decided to take 2 sets of pictures, one ‘dramatically’ posed and telling a story, as it were, the other with the army deployed in a typical formation as they would under the rules (albeit in a narrower, deeper space than would usually be the case). I also dug out some old pictures of the army in action, including one where they were playing the part of Rohan-esque types in a fantasy battle with my friend’s Orcs. Hope you like.

With their warchief slain by the enemy, his men bravely form up around his body while the rest of the army pours forth to avenge his loss..

Deployed for a game of By Force of Arms

 

Doing battle with the Orc hordes in 2008

Facing off against Late Romans in 2006

 

Taking part on both sides (as Visigoths and Ostrogoths) in a 2011 re-fight of the Battle of the Catalaunian Plans (Chalons) between Aetius and Attila

A 15mm Diversion

I recently fancied a dabble in a smaller scale, after all the 28mms I’ve been doing lately. I was given some very nice Khurasan 15mm Goth cavalry and command, and already had some Baueda Dark Age (Lombard?) foot command figures to go with them. These are intended as an extra command base, and some ‘heroes’ for my Goth army, which are inserted in the middle of a unit to provide some additional characterisation and battlefield punch when playing more ‘heroic’-style historical games. When I get round to certain future Armies of the Month this will make more sense!

In the meantime, while the Khurasan figures are very nice, the basic heavy cavalrymen lacked a bit of drama – specifically a lack of cloaks and some very short, insignificant looking swords. An upgrade was in order, so out came the green stuff for 4 cloaks and a couple of sword extensions. Much better. Quick pic below. I just need to squeeze them into the painting schedule somewhere now and they can join the army.

And that reminds me, after my earlier announcement, I’ve only got 5 days left to post January’s Army of the Month. Better get cracking on that!